Bonsai is a Japanese art of growing trees in a pot shaped container, Bonsai trees are basically miniatures of already existing trees or tree species, the word bonsai is Japanese pronunciation of Chinese word "Penzai". The Bonsai art originated in China back in 1000 B.C. and then came to Japan in 1100. Japan perfected this art and introduced it to the rest of the world. Bonsai is a combination of two different words i.e. Bon + Sai where Bon refers to a pot shaped saucer and Sai is planting.
The bonsai art is not used for producing fruits or medicines but, it is for displaying a tree species to the viewers. In Bonsai, cultivation techniques like root reduction, defoliation, pruning, potting, and grafting are used to produce small trees that mimic the shape and style of full-sized trees.
The word bonsai is sometimes confused and people refers this with dwarfing, it is not dwarfing, dwarfing is precisely refers to doing research and creating the cultivars of plant material and creating permanent genetic miniatures of existing species.
Cultivating Bonsai Trees: To grow a bonsai requires perfected skills and a lot of patience, Bonsai can be created out of almost any perennial tree or shrub species, there are some factors one need to keep in mind about selecting the right species for example: species which remain small and produce small branches, species with small leaves and/or needles etc.
There are some very popular species in bonsai that have all the above mentioned characteristics such as Azalea, Beech, Cedar, Elms, Hornbeam, Jade, Maples, and Pines etc.
Growing Bonsai: almost all bonsai starts with the specimen of source tree, which is the tree, the grower wishes to train in bonsai form. There is a specific difference in selecting the specimen when it comes to traditional tree planting and bonsai tree planting, in traditional planting specimen created out of seed of tree whereas in case of bonsai the source plant is often partially grown or mature stock to display
the characteristic aged appearance of a bonsai in short time frame.
Bonsai Source Selection Techniques: While any plant propagation form could produce bonsai material, there are some favorite techniques which can produce mature trunk with branches in a short time.
1. Cutting: This refers to cutting a part of growing plant and placing it in a growing medium to develop roots. If the part which is cut is thick like a mature branch, it may grow into a aged looking bonsai vary quickly as compared to a seed.
2. Layering: In layering a part of the plant which is usually a branch is used for rooting, while it is still attached to the parent plant, after rooting branch is removed from the parent tree and grown as an independent plant. For creating a bonsai both grounded or air layering can be used. This way the branch of one plant becomes the trunk of other plant (bonsai).